"Our Boy; Their Prisoner of War"
IRAQI CAMP NO HILTONWe, the lost generation "dar ghorbat", tend to see ourselves as the real victims of the turbulent events of the past twenty (twenty?! Good God, we're really getting old) years, but in truth everything that we have endured from prejudice to harassment to twenty years of shame, is nothing compared to the horror experienced by Mehdi Shamlou, his parents and all others in those circumstances.
In 1980, I spent three nights in jail, two in Arkansas, and one in Houston -- all because I was an Iranian. Rough stuff, I thought. But I spent all three nights in private cells, with
real toilets. And they served scrambled eggs for breakfast....A night at the Hilton compared to a war zone prison.
I pray for Mehdi and his fellow victims, and hope that they can live a full life despite the indignities they have suffered.
SPEECHLESSThe article was so moving that it almost brought tears to my eyes. His experiences in the Iraqi POW camp left me speechless. After having heard what he went through, I was ashamed at how little our government has done to help POWs.
OWING SOMETHING TO VICTIMSSometimes I feel that true Iranians are those who are paying the hefty price of staying in Iran, not those who enjoy the comforts of a North American existence. This is probably an emotional statement; however, seeing the suffering of young Iranians such as Mehdi, I can't help but feel I owe something to them.
Masoud Behnoud's Interview
TOLERANCE NOT VENGEANCEMr. Behnoud's comments on various aspects of Iranian society and politics were sound and "balanced". His views reflect, as a prime example, the long-awaited maturation of the thinking process in Iran's every-day life.
Time has come for the long-term interests of our country, our society and our dual national-Islamic culture, to prevail over clan interests.
Putting Iran to work, freeing the expression of our rich national-Islamic cultural
heritage in new and creative ways, educating our youth and building the very foundation of a "viable" nation, demand more understanding, more tolerance, more debate and less revolution, bloodshed and vengeance.
Ramin Parham, PhD
University of Virginia
Omid Payrow's "Politics of Exclusion"
EXCLUDE AND BE DOOMEDMr. Payrow's beautifully stated argument points to the very heart of the most urgent problem facing Iran and Iranians: realizing that the world will not adapt itself to us and therefore, change must occur.
Through revolution, its sacrifices, its bloodshed, "human waves" and the loss of invaluable time and money, Iranians have realized that, no matter what the jargon or rhetoric is, the key words are: Critical Thinking.
Exclusion, regardless of its disguise, will lead to self-mutilation and the setting upon
our self a long, painful death.
Ramin Parham, PhD
University of Virginia
"The Good Old Days..."
I enjoyed your article. However I have to correct one small error.
You stated "We had Jews, Bahais, Christians and Zoroastrians in our class... The only thing that bugged me at least, was that they had an excuse not to show up for religion class."
In the case of Bahais, I can testify (since I am one) to the fact that we were not allowed to skip religion classes. You see, we Bahais were never recognized as a religion, which meant we had virtually no religious rights (even under the Shah's regime) and it was mandatory for Bahai students to attend Koran classes.
SMELL THE COFFEE
Get real man! Smell the coffee! Learn to live with it!
ABADAN DREAMSIt brought back memories right away. I knew what he was talking about -- about the Golestan Club etc...
I know I'll be dreaming about Abadan tonight.
GUT HITRight on Brother!
Your editorial hit me in the gut like a soccer ball used to on the dirt fields in the empty lots of Tehran! I can almost smell the worn leather of my Puma Samad's now!
Behnam (Bruce) Bahmani
"Like Mother Like Daughter"
FRANK AND TRUTHFULIt was wonderful. The testimonials were frank and truthful, not sappy. The artwork and photos were revealing. Thank you for putting together a project that not only
brightened my day but made me think as well -- mostly about alienation and
I'm hoping Samira Sinai successfully forges her identity in the world and I hope her mother will love her unconditionally. I'm sure she will.
Excelsior Elementary School
Minnetonka School District
dAyi Hamid's "TaArof bi TaArof"
ME TOO!I just laughed through the whole thing. A lot of us who were born in Iran but grew up in the West, have the exact same problem.
I myself have been in this situation many many times and usually it is with older people who EXPECT you to be able to tArof just like they do, and that you should know the right tArof to say at the right time! Usually I fail miserably in these situations.
Elizabeth Malekzadeh's "...Who $#@!% Cares?"
THE "F" WORDThe word 'fuck' is not inappropriate as long as it is not addressed to offend an individual or belief. However, in my opinion, it is quite tasteless to resort to vulgar language to get attention.
And, the symbols, "#$@%$" do not minimize the effect. What does the title "To Be
or Not To Be Iranian; Who $#@!% Cares?" has to do with SCI (Soc.Culture.Iranian) or the type of people one comes across on the newsgroup?
(PROBABLY) NOT A CLERICAL JOBTwo thumbs up to the operators of that publication.
I know someone said that the publication was run by the IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran). If it is, then hell, maybe the IRI is getting its act together. Quite honestly, I don't think the akhoonds could muster such a nice electronic magazine.
Annonymous SCI posting
DOING IT RIGHTAnother wonderful edition! In the crowded ocean of online-publisher-wanna-be's, it's nice to see someone's doing it right.
TOO GOOD TO BE IRANIANWhat a wonderful effort. Congratulations on a product almost too high-quality to be Iranian.
WITH A SOULI am not Iranian, but I am studying Iran and its culture abroad. Being newly
indoctrinated to your culture, "The Iranian" is very appealing for me. The magazine has a soul. It reveals the personality of Iranian culture not found in other publications.
CHANGE FOR BETTERJavId and Co. - once again wonderfully impressive job!!! You guys seem to have changed the format for the better :)
TEARS AND MEMORIESI enjoyed every minute of your magazine. It is great to see that finally some one has got the energy and honesty to do this. Your articles have brought tears and lots of good old memories from back home in me.
PLEASED ABADANIAm I so pleased to find "The Iranian" on the Web. As an Iranian I extremely enjoyed reading it and I will keep coming back. As an Abadani I feel so proud about you and the publication, the best Iranian magazine on the Web.
HEALING THE DIVIDEDThe first "interactive" step has been taken toward bringing a divided nation, spread all over the world, closer to each other in their quest for "identity and happiness."
Farzad Hakimzadeh, Royal Dutch Telecom, The Netherlands.
COMPASSIONI am an American-expatriate who lived for some years in Iran and got caught up in the revolution and couldn't understand it. At the time I made some bad guesses and decisions based on real misunderstanding of Iran and the Iranian character.
I came to Iran full of ideals and had many shattered but when I see your magazine I feel more compassionate.
FRIENDS AND FAMILYI will try to get friends and family who don't have computers to get one, just to read your magazine!
Dastetan dard nakonad!